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Wisconsin Voters Aren’t Laughing

The long lines during the Wisconsin primary gave Seth Myers some good material for his late night show.

WATCH

But voters aren’t laughing. Wisconsin Republican Rep. Glenn Grothman spilled the beans about the real intent of Wisconsin’s voter ID law that – coupled with a reduction in early voting – led to long lines at the polls on Tuesday night. Rep. Grothman stood by his comments, saying he “[didn’t] regret” what he said.

WATCH

“The Republican Party might be a laughingstock right now, but their efforts to restrict voting rights are no laughing matter. Students were still standing in line waiting to vote at Marquette University and the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay after the polls had officially closed and the primary races had been called. That shouldn’t have been their introduction to the political process,” said Deshundra Jefferson, a spokesperson for the DNC.

Here’s a round-up of some of the news coverage from Tuesday’s primary:

Wisconsin’s Voter ID Law Caused Major Problems at the Polls Last Night
The Nation
Dennis Hatten voted in Wisconsin yesterday, but it wasn’t easy for him, or thousands of other voters. Hatten spent months trying to get a voter ID and then had to make multiple trips to the polls to vote. Meanwhile, students waited hours to cast a ballot at Marquette, in addition to long waits at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. Others left the polls because of the long lines or didn’t get to vote because of the voter-ID law.

Republicans keep admitting that voter ID helps them win, for some reason
The Washington Post

As any voter ID opponent will tell you, there are so few cases of documented voter fraud that it’s not clear there’s actually an ill that’s being cured. Instead, Democrats allege that these laws are clearly aimed at disenfranchising minority voters, in particular, because they are less likely to have the proper IDs. And minority voters, of course, heavily favor the Democratic Party.

WI Republican Legislators Were “Giddy” About Suppressing Minority and Student Votes
Election Law Blog

Via Ari Berman comes this Facebook post from Todd Albaugh, the former Chief of Staff to a Wisconsin state senator: You wanna know why I left the Republican Party as it exists today? Here it is; this was the last straw: I was in the closed Senate Republican Caucus when the final round of multiple Voter ID bills were being discussed. A handful of the GOP Senators were giddy about the ramifications and literally singled out the prospects of suppressing minority and college voters. Think about that for a minute.

Ex-Staffer: Wisconsin GOPers Cheered Voter ID Bill For What It ‘Could Do For Us
Talking Points Memo

A former top staffer for a Republican legislator in Wisconsin suggested this week that GOP legislators were motivated to pass the state’s tough photo voter ID law because they believed it would help them at the ballot box, an account he expanded on in a Wednesday interview with TPM.

Dear Scott Walker: Wisconsin’s Photo ID Law Did Not Work ‘Just Fine’
Huffington Post

Leroy Switlick has voted for 46 years in his hometown of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. But Switlick, who is legally blind, was unable to obtain a piece of photo identification that would comply with the state’s strict new voter ID law to cast a regular ballot in Tuesday’s primary.

GOP congressman: Voter ID law will help Republican presidential candidate
CNN/Politics

A Wisconsin Republican congressman confirmed Democratic critics’ claims Tuesday when he pointed to the state’s new voter ID laws as a reason the Republican candidate will be competitive there in the general election. The candid assessment by Rep. Glenn Grothman, who supports Texas Sen. Ted Cruz for president, came during an interview with Milwaukee news station TMJ4 at the Cruz camp.

Dems amp up charges of voter suppression in Wisconsin
The Hill

Democratic campaign leaders are boosting charges that Wisconsin Republicans adopted tougher election rules for the express purpose of blocking voters’ access to the polls. Democrats have long accused the GOP of pushing stricter voting laws — including photo ID requirements — in order to discourage participation by minority and low-income voters who tend to support Democrats.

Heavy turnout seen across state, some long lines at polls
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Students faced difficulties in registering to vote at the polls and in meeting the state’s new requirement that voters show a valid photo ID. “There were just a lot of challenges for students to meet the proof of residency requirement (for registration) and meeting the photo ID requirement,” Albrecht said.

Long lines at some polling places prompt call for action
WTAQ Radio

Reports of long lines at some Wisconsin polling places Tuesday have at least one group calling for action to prevent a repeat of the situation in the future.

Milwaukee Students Wait More Than Two Hours To Cast A Ballot
ThinkProgress
As the polls officially closed in Wisconsin’s presidential primary, students at the private Catholic school Marquette University faced two-hour voter registration lines at their polling site in the basement of the student union.

Wisconsin Students Face Hour-Long Voting Lines, Voter ID Confusion
ThinkProgress
Students who did not have a Wisconsin driver’s license or passport had to wait in yet another line to acquire a voter ID, since Wisconsin’s law does not accept student IDs issued by most of the schools colleges and universities.

The Voting Mess in Wisconsin
MSNBC’s All In With Chris Hayes

The GOP’s voter suppression efforts are poised to cause long lines and disenfranchise up to 300,000 – even though there’s no proof of voter fraud.

In Wisconsin, struggle for voting rights justice goes on
Chicago Sun Times
In Wisconsin, voter suppression laws were passed by a conservative Republican legislature despite the fact that there was no evidence of voter fraud to justify them. The legislature seemed intent on passing the most restrictive laws. They passed the whole passel of conservative model laws and invented a few more. The laws were challenged in court, but the Supreme Court refused to review a lower court decision leaving them in place.

Long lines remain even after polls close at 8
WBAY

Polls are officially closed in Wisconsin, but there are numerous reports around the state of people still standing in long lines. At U.W.-Green Bay, we’re told some students waited 2 hours to vote. Candy and water were being handed out to people waiting.

An elections official on the site tells our Ellery McCardle a lot of new voters and the Voter ID law are two of the reasons lines are so long.

Election turnout robust despite some confusion over new photo ID requirement
LaCrosse Tribune
A high-profile state Supreme Court race and hundreds of local non-partisan races also were on the ballot. Additionally, Tuesday’s voting was closely watched as the most substantial test yet of Wisconsin’s law requiring a photo ID at the polls. Workers reported busy polling places and scattered problems that forced them to turn away some voters who didn’t have the right identification.

‘Desperate times for democracy’ in Wisconsin
MSNBC
Alfonzo Noble, a senior at Madison West High School, was excited to vote in this year’s Wisconsin primaries — but his state’s strict voter ID law posed a problem. Without a driver’s license, Noble would need to get a special voter ID card at the DMV, about 45-minutes away by bus. And for that, he’d have to provide his birth certificate, his social security card, proof of his address, and even documentation of his name change after he was adopted.

Bill Berry: Voter suppression alive and well in Wisconsin
The Cap Times
This is election week, and while big media will tell us about the winners and losers on the ballot in Wisconsin, it will say little about the losers at the polls: disenfranchised Wisconsin citizens who were turned away. The traditionally light state primary in February produced dozens of such reports. Elsewhere, voter suppression laws in states like Arizona led to long lines of voters kept waiting for hours because the number of polling places was slashed.

Grothman: Voter ID law will help eventual GOP nominee win Wisconsin
NBC Milwaukee

In comments made to TODAY’S TMJ4′s Charles Benson on election night, U.S. congressman Glenn Grothman (R-Campbellsport) said he thinks Wisconsin’s new voter ID law will help the eventual GOP nominee win in the state. Grothman’s response came as Benson asked him about the GOP’s poor performance across recent presidential contests in the state.

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